WHEELING, W.Va (WTRF) -The time has come for ghosts, goblins, witches, fairies and superheroes to take over the streets of the Ohio Valley for Halloween.
The costumes are picked, and the candy bags are ready to go as trick-or-treaters prepare to go door-to-door Tuesday. Collecting their candy (of course) but also looking at all the amazing decorations that everyone has set up.
But Halloween does not always look like spooky goblins and orange and black décor. For some people, Halloween is a little more vibrant.
You may see children carrying around blue pumpkins or blue colored bags to collect their candy and other goodies.
Blue is not only eye catching, but it’s a way to educate and include every child in Halloween fun.
Blue pumpkins are used to signal to others that the child carrying the blue pumpkin or blue candy bag may be on the autism spectrum.
The act of trick-or-treating presents unique challenges for people with autism, who often have sensory processing issues, can be non-verbal or may use a device to communicate.
“When the child approaches your door, that kind of gives you a hint that there might be. They might not be able to communicate. Happy Halloween or trick or treat or say thank you and you give them a treat. They may show sensory processing. They might welcome their toes, or they might have a hard time looking at you in the eyes. Those are all things that people with autism sometimes demonstrate.”Angie Wood | Executive Director, Augusta Levy Learning Center
Executive Director of the Augusta Levy Learning Center, Angie Wood, says you may see some adults dressed in costumes, or even kids not dressed up at all due to their sensory processing issues.
She also said some kids with autism have dietary restrictions, so having fun stickers or pencils to hand out is just another way to be more inclusive this Halloween.
Wood feels the most important thing is making sure kids with special needs are included in the fun.
Remember, if you see someone carrying around a blue pumpkin or blue candy bag, please consider they might have autism, which could affect their ability to speak or interact with you.
We hope everyone has a fun and safe Halloween.